Sunday, March 29, 2015

12. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

By Claire North (405 pp)

I actually read this book and #11 at the same time. I usually don't do that but I don't know what happened. I really liked both books. This one is about a guy who more or less repeats the same life over and over. He remembers everything about his previous lives every time he is reborn. There are other people like him and eventually someone starts mucking around with things making trouble that has to be stopped. It's hard to summarize all the mechanics in this little blurb- but I recommend.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

11. Ready Player One

By Ernest Cline (372 pp)

I really loved this book, but I had a few issues. It's set about 30 years in the future where the world has become a bleak place and people spend their time in a virtual world. The eccentric bazillionaire who helped create the virtual world dies and leaves behind a puzzle hidden in the virtual world. The person who solves it inherits his money and the company. It's a big battle to win the contest. There is lots of 80's trivia and a lot about video games which went over my head. Super fun to read and a great story but there bits where it felt amateurish for example, major info-dumping at the beginning. Also, the bad guys are cartoonishly bad. All that was missing was actual mustache twirling. Still: Recommend!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

10. Coming Out to Play

By Robbie Rogers (222 pp)

This is a memoir by a professional soccer player who came out in 2013. As I write this he is still on the roster at LA Galaxy. Bob and I used to play this game called "celebrities who might have been interesting once but are now tiresome."  It's been a long time since we've played that game but I think some current nominees are James Franco and Seth Rogen. I felt like I went through the entire interesting-to-tiresome arc while I was reading this book. Rogers is so charming and he was so painfully tormented while he was closeted -- so worried about disappointing his family, also Catholic, and in his mind there was no way he could play professional sports and be out. It was heart-breaking to see how deeply this affected him. However, his coming out goes great, his family, friends and teammates are a million percent supportive and by the end he sounds just like any other self-involved handsome and successful athlete who benefits from enormous privilege. I honestly enjoyed the book and still think he's charming and I'm happy that he can be who he really is and I'm certain his story benefits others so I will give him a pass on the self-involved, etc.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

9. The Magician's Land

By Lev Grossman (401 pp)

This is the third in a trilogy that started with The Magicians and The Magician King. For both of those books, I said that really liked them but the entire time I was reading I felt like I was on the verge of falling insanely in love and fell just a bit short of that. The only time I've ever been disappointed in great books for not being great enough. This book was great enough. I'm sorry I didn't re-read the others before I read this. And yes, I read this book in a day plus one morning because of The Crud. I'm almost recovered so back to my slower reading pace.